Oct 18, 2011

russian version of the sistine chapel.

sveta took us to st. isaac's! i love this cathedral. the outside isn't the prettiest of some that i've seen, but the inside is my favorite by far i think. most of the other cathedrals have pictures mostly of saints, and some of christ, but they're usually gruesome and dreary pictures. in saint isaac's... there are pictures depicting scenes from christ's life as well as other biblical events. and it's just beautiful. and so, i love it :) it took 40 years to build this place, and if you say "like the temple" russians get irritated. i don't really blame them... the guy who designed it died only a month after it was completed. oh! and the pictures were all painted lying down- like the sistine chapel.
 this hotel on the right is very historically significant. unlike all the other buildings here. hitler planned to stay and celebrate there after he conquered russia. he never got there :)
 the blue bridge
 equestrian momument for nicholas I. he's surrounded by his wife and 3 daughters, who all represent his characteristics: courage, wisdom, stuff like that.
 it took them only 45 minutes to put up each of those pillars.
allison, me, leslie, bekka, clarie, heather, jodi, and jessica!
 incredible detail everywhere! the doors here are simply amazing.
 inside the dome. that's a dove in the very top. it's wingspan is 3 m long. fun fact for some perspective.

each of these pictures tells a story
 love it.

 all 14 different types of marble found in the cathedral are in this statue. i can't remember who it is tho...
mosaics! apparently, they last longer than real paintings.
i <3 this.

 the green marble is my favorite
 i love this table!
 christ holding the universe in his hand.
 and then, a select brave 4 of us took a trek of over 200 stairs to walk around the base of the dome
the top!
 i love it here. so freaking breathtaking. i think it was this view that was my favorite, but you can't see it all. from here you can see peter and paul fortress, the winter palace and hermitage, church on spilled blood and several other main sites in st. petes
 winter palace!

 church on spilled blood

the trinity cathedral- been there!
looking out on st. isaac's square

 200 stairs! plus more outside

after we were done around the top, we started wandering around the area. we ended up in this little shop that i thought looked like it might have russian fairytale books, which a few of us have been wanting. and it did! it was so exciting! i also found my mug in that store :) (i decided to get a mug from every country that i go to) it was a very happy day. and who did we run into in that random little store, down a random little street? sveta!!! our "tour guide/mom" here!! it was so cool! small world :) and.... next came the highlight of the day. we were checking out and we hear what sound like gun shots and hear tons of motorcycles. there's tons and tons of motorcycles going by. so after a few minutes we go outside and this is what we see. going on for at least a mile. i've never seen so many bikes in my entire life. it was awesome! there was so much energy there and tons of people lined up on the streets outside watching. it made me so happy. oh, the random things you see in russia :)

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